Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting My First Job

Whether you’re a new grad or you’ve decided to look for a new position, congratulations on the new adventure you’re starting! Not only can this be a really exciting time for you, but it can also be a bit stressful. Full disclosure: this will be one of the toughest times in your life. Yes, there are tons of positions open all over the world, but you’re also in the same position as four million other people!  Don’t get discouraged though! The time will come where you start going on interviews and then, finally, you’ll start your first job!

Starting your very first full-time job can be a little overwhelming. While it’s an exciting time because you finally get to start making your own money to save up for a new car, a house, a wedding, or just to start paying off your student loans, the unknowns can be a little stressful. Here are a couple of things I wish I knew before starting my first position:

Everyone is on their own timeline.

Some people have their dream jobs right out of the gate and others will still be in school getting their Master’s. The worst thing you can do is compare yourself to them. You are not falling behind, and you are not way ahead, you are right on time.

You’re going to make many, many, MANY mistakes.

That’s really the only way you are going to learn. You’re not going to learn anything by being perfect. The worst thing you can do is get angry with yourself.  Forget the mistake, remember the lesson and move on.

Make the extra effort to befriend your coworkers.

Starting a new job can be intimidating and so can the people around you. When you start your first workday, try to introduce yourself to as many people as possible. Remember people’s names and make an effort to start a conversation. The friendlier you are, the more comfortable you and your coworkers will be.

There is an opportunity in every single task.

Whether it be a team outing, helping a coworker, or grabbing lunch with your boss,  always think about the possible positive outcomes – you could be surprised where it takes you. “Our lives are defined by opportunities, even the ones we miss.” Eric Roth

Decorate your office/cube.

There is no shame in making your office or cubicle feel a little more like home. Grab some picture frames or an inspirational quote and put it on your desk. You’ll spend 40 hours a week in that space, you might as well spice it up with things you like. AND it doesn’t hurt to keep it clean.

Setting attainable goals.

Whether it be work related or personal, it’s important to set goals. Goals are like plans that help us break things down into doable tasks. Too often we celebrate finished products and not all the little tasks we completed that got us there. Allow yourself the gratification of completing all these tasks, you’ll be surprised how accomplished and motivated you feel.

You are not alone if starting a new job stirs feelings of anxiety and fear.  Be confident in your skills, remember they hired you and trust the process. For help with resume writing, preparing for your interview, negotiating salaries, and more subscribe to our blog.